The Most Underrated Way To Travel The World In 2024, According To Samantha Brown

TV host and travel expert Samantha Brown has done it all when it comes to exploring the world. From hosting travel shows to writing her own online guides, Brown has become a household name when it comes to traveling around the world — and she does it well. That said, it makes sense that the travel pro would know a thing or two about efficient travel, especially in terms of getting the most out of your time on the road. So what's her top recommendation for the best way to explore some top destinations in 2024? Two words: train travel.

From exploring Italy's best destinations while on a budget to hitting up some of the U.S.'s most popular national parks aboard an Amtrak train, train travel has evolved to be a lot more than just getting from point A to point B. In fact, trains have even continued to become a mode of travel preferred by millions of people worldwide, with ridership numbers looking to surpass 1 billion users by 2028 (per Statista). All in all, it's safe to say that train travel — and its growing popularity — simply isn't going anywhere but up ... or in this case, forward.

Train travel is all about enjoying the ride

So what's the best bit about train travel according to Samantha Brown? Unlike flying or driving somewhere yourself, traveling by train is all about enjoying the ride — literally. After all, you're not the one doing any of the navigating, right? This eventually leaves plenty of room (and focus) for you to simply kick back, relax, and take in the scenery.

Along with this, another great aspect of train travel is the sense of adventure that comes with hitting the rails. Depending on your journey and the length of your trip, most trains nowadays are typically equipped with comfortable seating, spacious cabins, and panoramic windows — all of which allow you to truly immerse yourself in the journey and enjoy views that you might have missed using other forms of travel. In some cases, trains are even the most convenient and cost-effective way to country-hop around Europe — which is all the more reason to heed Brown's expert advice and give them a try.

What are some train trips worth taking?

Is train travel starting to sound like a great choice? You're in luck. From a trip that'll take you through Singapore and Malaysia (via the Eastern and Oriental Express) to a 15-day jaunt from South Africa to Tanzania (via Rovos Rail), there are plenty of incredible train trips to excite even the most seasoned traveler. For example, there's the ​​Tazara Railway, traveling between Tanzania and Zambia in Africa; the Darjeeling Toy Train, departing daily from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling in India; a 9-hour ride from Colombo to Badulla in Sri Lanka; the Glacier Express (pictured above), offering postcard-worthy views of the Swiss Alps; and the famous Trans-Siberian Railway, known as the longest single rail system in the world, that stretches across the whole of Russia.

Stateside, the fun doesn't stop. Some notable rail journeys in the U.S. include the California Zephyr, a 52-hour trip from Chicago to San Francisco; and the Sunset Limited, which takes you from New Orleans to Los Angeles over the course of two days. Plus, per Samantha Brown's own recommendation (via Business Insider), even cog railroad lines are worth the experience — in particular, she highlights the Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Colorado and the Mount Washington Cog Railway along New Hampshire's White Mountains.